Please send some good thoughts my way

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Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby VictoryInTruth » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:34 pm

Dear forum members... even though I mostly lurk in these forums I would like to ask that if you are able to...to please send some good thoughts my way. You see, almost a month and a half ago my mother died of cancer whilst I was taking care of her in my home...her cancer had spread from her lungs to her brain. She passed away peacefully with me by her side.

I have been suffering from a deep depression even since her passing due to the fact that my mother and I had lived together our whole lives. The loss of my mother leaves such an empty feeling in my heart that I cannot adequately describe it. To add to my suffering on July 25th when I was being taken home by taxi I started having problems with my breathing and became deathly pale. The taxi driver immediately called an ambulance and I was hospitalized for 9 days. If the taxi driver hadn't called for an ambulance I would have died.

The diagnosis was that I had suffered a pulmonary embolism... meaning that I had blood clots in my lungs and my organs were shutting down one by one. The worst being my kidneys... which were functioning at only 40%. On top of all of this I was also diagnosed as being borderline diabetic and have problems with my liver but due to the fact that I am on the blood thinning medication "Coumadin" I am not able to have my liver biopsied right now to see just how bad my liver is.

I have been home now for almost 2 weeks but feel incredibly week.

Sorry for being so long winded in describing my situation. I really need to feel some sense of peace and welcome any suggestions on how I can achieve that during this rough time in my life.

Thank you :anjali:
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby dagon » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:36 pm

Hi VictoryInTruth

You have metta and compassion from me – I honestly know how you feel. I nursed my wife on and off for more than 10 years before she passed away from cancer and the effects of many years of treatment.

Lets start with your grief – depression is a very common aspect of grief, so you are very normal. Please recognize that fact. Let me guess it is far more than you lost your mother. I remember being asked by a social worker how I was dealing with the loss of my wife. My response was that is the easy part – what I find so hard is that I lost my best friend. The loss of someone that close leaves more than hole in the heart. There other aspects as well that revolve on being the carer for example. What you are grieving for is your mother, best friend, and the role that you gave yourself in life.

Grief is a process that allows you to readjust – the process must be allowed to happen. All too often the carer finds themselves being left to support others. Do not be afraid to tell them that you have your own grieving to do and your emotional resources are limited.

Have you allowed yourself to really let go and cry – when doing that it is good to have some who you are close to share and give you love. My best practical advice if you have not is to invite a close friend around and watch a movie that is very sad and always makes you cry – once you start to let go for the film the letting go of the emotions inside you natural happens. Remember that you as the carer was the one who always had to be strong for your mother, now it is your time.

My guess is that you are still living in the same house; that the house is full of things that remind you of your mother and in turn of the loss that you have suffered. What worked for me and many others that I have got to do this is to attach a favorite or happy memory to all of those items. That way you can be reminded of the happiness and MOST importantly start to celebrate you mothers life. She would not want your sadness and celebrating a life is always good. When friends or relatives come around recount what those stories are to them. It helps to reinforce them in your head, share happy thoughts with other that knew you mother. I think that she would like to be remembered as someone who brought happiness into the lives of others. Another way of reinforcing those happy memories is to write them down. If you do this on a computer you can print them out or later use them to use then as a family book about your mum. You can also ask others to tell or write down other happy stories.

6 Months down the track at the end of the day I realized that I had been thinking about the wife all day. All of those thoughts were happy ones – it will eventually happen to you as well as unlikely as it feels at the moment.

If you want we can continue the discussion on the forum or by private message

metta
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby plwk » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:47 pm

Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby Kusala » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:10 am

May those beings who suffer be free from suffering.

May those beings who are in fear be free from fear.

May those beings who are in grief be free from grief.


...whatever beings that are born - those with form and the formless ones, those with or without consciousness - may they all be free from suffering! May they attain Nibbana!
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Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby Luke » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:52 am

Hi VictoryInTruth,

I'm sorry to hear about your recent tragedies. Sometimes samsara just totally sucks.

I hope you don't mind some Mahayana-flavored compassion right now! :)

Teyata Om Bekandze Bekandze Mahabekandze Radza Samugate Soha
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Try to eat healthy food. This way, you can help your body heal. It's easy to eat lots of junk food when you're depressed, but that junk food will just make you weaker and more unhealthy. Eat things like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, some dairy products (if you eat them), and some lean meats (if you eat them).

Also, try to get some minimal exercise everyday. If this is just doing 1 push up and walking around your room once, so be it--it's still something! Try to think like a guy who is going to slowly recover.

I hope you feel better soon, both emotionally and physically.

Do you know any friends with cute pets? Maybe if they bring over their really cute dog or cat for a while, it might lift your spirits! :D
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby Aloka » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:24 am

Hi VictoryInTruth,

I'm so sorry to hear about your difficulties. My mother died from cancer, so I can understand how you are feeling.

Just take things very gently and give yourself some time to re-adjust.

Sending lots of good wishes for your health and happiness.

With metta,

Aloka
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby Ben » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:56 am

Greetings Victory

Grief and illness really suck.
Be sure that you are in my thoughts.
However painful and difficult your situation, please do everything you can to look after yourself.
with metta,

Ben
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby Anagarika » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:35 pm

Victory:

I recall a talk Ajahn Brahm gave about losing his father. Ajahn Brahm suggested that the practice should be so much about the sense of celebration of the life of the person, and not the grief over the loss. He was able to let go of these harmful grief feelings rather quickly. A woman that came to him grieving was counseled to try to let go of the grief, as it can be an unhealthy attachment that causes one depression, loss of hope, poor health and hygiene. Ajahn B explained that we do not need to put ourselves through this suffering, as this grief, while natural and expected in all of us, is really in its coarsest terms a holding on and an attachment. None of us are immune from grief...I still grieve the loss of my Dad and it's been many, many years. But I am trying to learn that in those moments when my heart drops and the sense of grief starts to flood over me, that I work to replace the sense with a smile on my face, take a deep breath, and feel so glad for my Dad and all of my days with him. Maybe you can work to infuse moments of great gratitude and celebration in those moments when grief wants to take over. Force a smile if you have to, thinking of your Mom, and your brain chemistry and body will react to this in a positive way.

Metta and Karuna to you each day on this journey toward wellbeing.

M
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby VictoryInTruth » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:13 pm

dagon wrote:Hi VictoryInTruth

You have metta and compassion from me – I honestly know how you feel. I nursed my wife on and off for more than 10 years before she passed away from cancer and the effects of many years of treatment.

Lets start with your grief – depression is a very common aspect of grief, so you are very normal. Please recognize that fact. Let me guess it is far more than you lost your mother. I remember being asked by a social worker how I was dealing with the loss of my wife. My response was that is the easy part – what I find so hard is that I lost my best friend. The loss of someone that close leaves more than hole in the heart. There other aspects as well that revolve on being the carer for example. What you are grieving for is your mother, best friend, and the role that you gave yourself in life.

Grief is a process that allows you to readjust – the process must be allowed to happen. All too often the carer finds themselves being left to support others. Do not be afraid to tell them that you have your own grieving to do and your emotional resources are limited.

Have you allowed yourself to really let go and cry – when doing that it is good to have some who you are close to share and give you love. My best practical advice if you have not is to invite a close friend around and watch a movie that is very sad and always makes you cry – once you start to let go for the film the letting go of the emotions inside you natural happens. Remember that you as the carer was the one who always had to be strong for your mother, now it is your time.

My guess is that you are still living in the same house; that the house is full of things that remind you of your mother and in turn of the loss that you have suffered. What worked for me and many others that I have got to do this is to attach a favorite or happy memory to all of those items. That way you can be reminded of the happiness and MOST importantly start to celebrate you mothers life. She would not want your sadness and celebrating a life is always good. When friends or relatives come around recount what those stories are to them. It helps to reinforce them in your head, share happy thoughts with other that knew you mother. I think that she would like to be remembered as someone who brought happiness into the lives of others. Another way of reinforcing those happy memories is to write them down. If you do this on a computer you can print them out or later use them to use then as a family book about your mum. You can also ask others to tell or write down other happy stories.

6 Months down the track at the end of the day I realized that I had been thinking about the wife all day. All of those thoughts were happy ones – it will eventually happen to you as well as unlikely as it feels at the moment.

If you want we can continue the discussion on the forum or by private message

metta
paul


Thank you Paul for your compassion. I am so sorry to hear about your wife. That you cared for her for over 10 years shows just how loving a person you really are. I live in an apartment and everything here reminds me of my mom. What is helping me get through the grief and sadness is to go out and be amongst other people. When you are closed up in an environment that fuels the grief, sadness and memories it can really have a negative effect on your mind.

I will try as you suggested to put a positive memory to the objects that were related to my mom. Maybe that will help become more detached from the grief and depression. To be honest I have only cried very little. I have not been able to have a good cry over the loss of my mom and sometimes I think something is wrong with me but my cousin says that I am probably still in shock over the death of my mother. She may be right for it is not easy to forget someone that you had lived with for over 40 years of your life.

You are most welcome to contact me via PM or here in the forums. I don't mind talk about this out in the open in the forums either. Thanks again Paul. :anjali:
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby VictoryInTruth » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:16 pm

plwk wrote:



Thank you for the videos they help calm my mind down. :anjali:
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby VictoryInTruth » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:22 pm

Luke wrote:Hi VictoryInTruth,

I'm sorry to hear about your recent tragedies. Sometimes samsara just totally sucks.

I hope you don't mind some Mahayana-flavored compassion right now! :)

Teyata Om Bekandze Bekandze Mahabekandze Radza Samugate Soha
Image

Try to eat healthy food. This way, you can help your body heal. It's easy to eat lots of junk food when you're depressed, but that junk food will just make you weaker and more unhealthy. Eat things like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, some dairy products (if you eat them), and some lean meats (if you eat them).

Also, try to get some minimal exercise everyday. If this is just doing 1 push up and walking around your room once, so be it--it's still something! Try to think like a guy who is going to slowly recover.

I hope you feel better soon, both emotionally and physically.

Do you know any friends with cute pets? Maybe if they bring over their really cute dog or cat for a while, it might lift your spirits! :D
Image



I welcome the Mahayana flavored compassion. :smile:

I am trying to eat healthy but cannot eat any leafy green vegetables that may contain Vitamin K as they get in the way of the blood thinning medication I am on to function properly in doing its work in keeping my blood thin so that clots in my lungs can slowly disintegrate so I won't have another embolism attack.

In terms of exercise... I am trying to walk around my neighborhood almost every day. As for pets, I have a cute bird (a Cockatiel) that keeps me good company. It is very true that pets can indeed lift up ones spirits.

Thanks for your kind words and thoughts. :anjali:
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:22 pm

I'm sorry to hear of your loss and your illness.

May you be free from suffering as soon as possible. :heart:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby VictoryInTruth » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:24 pm

Aloka wrote:Hi VictoryInTruth,

I'm so sorry to hear about your difficulties. My mother died from cancer, so I can understand how you are feeling.

Just take things very gently and give yourself some time to re-adjust.

Sending lots of good wishes for your health and happiness.

With metta,

Aloka


Thank you Aloka for your good wishes for my health and happiness. I am also sorry to hear of the loss of your mother and send my good thoughts her way. I will try my best to take things easier.

Thanks again :anjali:
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby VictoryInTruth » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:29 pm

Ben wrote:Greetings Victory

Grief and illness really suck.
Be sure that you are in my thoughts.
However painful and difficult your situation, please do everything you can to look after yourself.
with metta,

Ben


Yes indeed... grief and illness can suck at times. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I am trying my best to care for myself and not get sick again but kamma and other factors are at play here as to whether or not I will get sick again.

:anjali:
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby VictoryInTruth » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:31 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:I'm sorry to hear of your loss and your illness.

May you be free from suffering as soon as possible. :heart:


Thank you for your kind words. I too wish to be free of suffering very soon.

:anjali:
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:54 pm

Sorry to hear of your loss and may you be well too.

Anicca vata sankhara
Uppada vaya dhammino
Uuppajjitva nirujjhanti
Tesam vupasamo sukho

All things are impermanent.
They arise and pass away.
Having arisen they come to an end.
Their coming to peace is bliss.
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby LG2V » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:37 pm

VictoryInTruth,

I have sent loving-kindness to you. I will send more tonight and in the coming days as well. I wish you the best.


Best Wishes,
LG2V :anjali:
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http://freerice.comhttp://greatergood.com/www.ripple.orgwww.thenonprofits.com
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby cooran » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:04 pm

Hello VictoryInTruth,

May you be safe and protected
May you be healthy and strong
May you be happy of heart and mind
May you live with ease and wellbeing
May you swiftly progress on the path to Nibbana
May you have happiness and the causes of happiness
May you be free from mental and physical pain.

With metta
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby dagon » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:12 pm

Hi Friend

Metta and thoughts for you.

She may be right for it is not easy to forget someone that you had lived with for over 40 years of your life.


Please do not try and forget you mother, this is not a good thing for a number of reason. To succeed in that you have to control your mind 24/7 and you can not do that. Your mother was clearly the most important thing in your life (equally you in hers). The idea is more one of putting things in perspective and this you can only do by being mindful of what is occurring. suppressing memories and emotions is not going to work and can be harmful to you. As a carer you learnt to focus all of you physical and emotional resources on the person you were looking after - you know have to learnt to focus them on yourself.

Grief is a process and for each individual it is different. At the moment the emotion that fills you is a sense of loss but that loss is more than just for your mother. One of the adjustments that this process needs to encompass is that you have also lost a major role in your life. Caring for others with compassion and love becomes a major part of you and you also grieve for that. If you can succeed in extending that loving kindness outwards then this helps to deal with that loss. However as with metta in meditation it has to start with having loving kindness and compassion for yourself. At times the easiest way to see yourself is with a mirror and in this case your mother maybe the mirror that you should use. Your mother got to spend "over 40 years" with a loving daughter that managed to take care of her to the end. Do you know how rare this is - this is a very special gift that YOU gave to her.

The passing of a loved one is a time for so many mixed emotions and the intensity of those emotions is often dependent on the strength and proximity of the relationship. Some of the emotions that you can fell may appear wrong at the time, for example anger that you are the one left behind. I know from my own experience and with the opportunity to reflect on the events how profound this can be.

To live with some one for many years takes a lot of love, to allow them to pass on takes even more love. I learnt this lesson the hard way. I had promised my wife that if her disease affect her brain that i would let her go. Maybe 24 hours before she died i found that i could not and got her to the hospital. It was only then that realized that i needed to find even more love for her. As it turned out it was a good things because i was able to manipulate her medications in such a way as to get her 2 days with a clear mind to say goodbye to our kids and she passed in to unconsciousness reliving the visit of our only grandchild. I have since learnt how what a good passing she had, you will realize that what you did for you mum was equally as good.

There is a price that people pay for being a carer - it is something that i call carers syndrome. When you care for someone in a home environment you take on aspects of the disease and its effects. As peoples health decline their mobility and social interactions also decline. As the primary carer the same thing happens to you so those same factors affect you health. Just as Buddha in the 4NT identified our suffering and causes he also identified that there was a logical way to address the problem. In this case it also involves a reversal of the process that caused the suffering in the first place.

I live in an apartment and everything here reminds me of my mom. What is helping me get through the grief and sadness is to go out and be among other people. When you are closed up in an environment that fuels the grief, sadness and memories it can really have a negative effect on your mind.


This i understand and it is why i said to try and attach as many positive memories to those things that that trigger the memories. Beyond that i have also said about the carer syndrome with one of the issues being social isolation that happens to both the recipient and giver of care. What you need to do is to seek a middle way (gee The Buddha was one smart man) You do need the social interaction for your health and well being but at the same time you need to ensure that you do not develop avoidance - because if you do you will miss out on all of the positive memories of your mum and what YOU did for her. The other problem with avoidance in this case is that you will miss out on the opportunity to develop within Buddhism.

Others have said about the potential benefits of a health diet, you quite rightly pointed out one of the potential dangers of diet. What i would suggest is that you (if you have not already) see a qualified dietitian with a proper background referral from you GP covering you thrombosis, depression, borderline diabetes and significant recent life events.

I agree exercise could be of assistance to you in helping to manage your grief, depression, diabetes concerns and potential you cardiovascular issues. I don't need to caution you about the potential dangers of falls and injuries give the blood thinners you are on.

:anjali:
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Re: Please send some good thoughts my way

Postby jonno » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:37 am

Dear friend. I work as a volunteer in a hospice counselling the bereaved, but I could not put it so well as Dagon has. All I can add is to cherish the rare love you and your mother had and still have for each other, don't try and push the pain away, instead hold it tenderly in your arms as you would a newborn baby and it will comfort you in return. You mum is still with you and within you. I once was asked by a child who's dad had died, " Where is my Daddy?" I asked him where did he feel his love for daddy.He clutched his chest and said" In here" I said softly. " that's where your daddy is and he always will be with you " . It seemed to help him I hope it helps you dear friend. Love Jonno.
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